As the man who started the index revolution more than 40 years ago, he’s a one-of-a-kind resource, and he’s as fiery as ever when it comes to his views on the market, investing, the index revolution and more.

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Talk to Jack Bogle long enough and you get the idea that he never gets the answer wrong, he simply tells the right answer to come back when it’s ready for him.

It’s not that Bogle, the 87-year-old venerable founder of the Vanguard Group, the world’s largest mutual-fund company, has always been right, but investors have always been able to count on him for straight talk and answers that, when relied upon as investment advice, feel right over time.

As the man who started the index revolution more than 40 years ago, he’s a one-of-a-kind resource, and he’s as fiery as ever when it comes to his views on the market, investing, the index revolution and more.

He did a three-part interview this week; here are some highlights:

On the index he would pick today — from the hundreds now available in all shapes, forms and sizes — if index funds didn’t exist and he was starting the first index fund again today:

Bogle: “I would choose the Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index for the same reasons I picked it in the first place all those years ago. The reality is, that it’s weighted by the market capitalization of each stock, so if a big stock goes up in value, you don’t have to buy any more, it goes up in value by the exact same amount in the fund. It is a very low transactions, low-transaction costs investment.

“There was a pension account said to be the first index fund, started in 1974, for a small pension plan … run according to index principles, but they picked the wrong index. They picked the New York Stock Exchange Index, which had to be adjusted with prices every single day. Its execution was a nightmare, they couldn’t make it work at all, and sometime after we started the first index fund … they switched over to the S&P 500. … It’s the best index around.”

On people who would criticize that choice because the S&P 500 is a domestic index:

Bogle: “I’m out on kind of a limb on this, but I realize — and everyone else should know — that in the S&P 500, almost half of the revenues and half of the earnings of those 500 corporations come from outside the U.S. It is an international portfolio, it just doesn’t have a stock price that floats in the international market.

“So I am happy to have a totally U.S. portfolio, and that is what I happen to do myself.

“I can’t tell you it’s right, I can’t say that international won’t do better in the future, because it has done so much worse in the past since I first made this statement back in ’93. … You don’t need to use international, however, and if you do, keep it below 20 percent of your portfolio.”

On smart-beta and “factor” investing built around “new and improved” indexes:

Bogle: “I happened to create the first two and still the largest two strategic beta funds in the entire mutual-fund industry, that is the [S&P 500] Growth and [S&P 500] Value … but I did it for not the same reasons we see for factor investing today.

I did it because I thought investors could accumulate money with a little extra risk and a little more tax efficiency in the growth portfolio, and when they retired they would switch to the value portfolio and have a little lower risk and a higher income. It made a lot of sense to me.

In the early reports, I said ‘Now, look, don’t switch between these funds back and forth. In the long run, they are apt to do the same, so it’s just a question of how you get your return, heavily on income or heavily on growth. And nobody listened to me … the prediction was right; both the growth and value funds since then have had an identical return of 9 percent per year, separately. For investors who traded back and forth, the investors earned a return of less than 5 percent, because they switched back and forth, they have changed the performance.

“Two good funds, but badly used, and I think everyone in the mutual-fund business when they bring out some flashy new idea should think not about how it will enrich them as marketers, but whether it really serves the interest of investors.

“Sometimes [investors] will pick the right factor, sometimes they will pick the wrong factor, but to the extent that investors pick the hot factor, they almost assuredly will be wrong.”

On smart beta investing in general:

Bogle: “I believe that smart beta is stupid.”

On following daily market moves:

Bogle: “You really ought to stop watching the market all of the time. One of my other rules is ‘Don’t peek.’

“[Investors] ought to be thinking ‘Why am I doing this? Does it really matter?’ What it is today will not be what it is when you retire, or tomorrow for that matter.

“Be conscious of the fact that you are taking a risk, and if there’s some worldwide calamity … that’s going to be bad. You can’t do anything about that. As a wise man said, ‘If the nuclears go off over here, it won’t really matter a hell of a lot if you own stocks or if you own bonds.”